Challenges for families to achieve work / life balance in the twenty-first century

achieving work life balance
Sydney Career and Personal Coach, Tina Monk, discusses the challenges families have when trying to achieve work / life balance in the 21st century.

Conflict between work and family life

Conflict between work and family life is one of the most common sources of stress for working adults. In this productivity-driven society that we are living in, more and more people are finding it hard to adequately fulfil their roles both at home and at the workplace. More often than not, workers are unable to find a point of balance between their careers and their families — there is always one that is given more priority than the other. This has been associated with several dysfunctional outcomes — strained familial relationships, inefficiency at work, and poor physical and mental health.

Hence, we must be able to achieve a balance between our work and our family life. When creating a work-life balance that works for you, take time to assess your own needs. Not everyone’s work-life balance looks the same, and not everyone divides their work and personal life directly in half.

Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family

Just a couple of decades ago, the standard family life looked a lot like this: the man would grab his briefcase, kiss his children on the forehead, and head out for his day in the office. His wife would likely stay home to raise the children. But, today? The world looks a whole lot different. Today: both parents are employed, and sleep is a luxury.

Needless to say, things in the working world have changed and working parents face new challenges, have added commitments to juggle, and less time to handle them.

There is No ‘Perfect’ Work-Life Balance

When you hear “work-life balance,” you probably imagine having an extremely productive day at work and leaving early to spend the other half of the day with friends and family. While this may seem ideal, it is not always possible.

Don’t strive for the perfect schedule; strive for a realistic one. Some days, you might focus more on work, while others you might have more time and energy to pursue your hobbies or spend time with your loved ones. Balance is achieved over time, not each day.

Every person and family must find specific solutions to their issues depending on their preferences and needs. But basically, a balance between work and family occurs when a person can meet family commitments and adequately perform responsibilities at work. There is nothing wrong with working hard to gain some of the finer things in life, but you should also not forget the worth of the things and people that matter most.

Steps To Achieve Better Work-Life Balance

Work isn’t just a way to make money. It should serve you both financially and emotionally. If you hate what you do, you aren’t going to be happy.  For the best work-life balance, you need to find a job that you are passionate about.

Your overall physical, emotional and mental health should be your main concern. If you struggle with anxiety or depression and think therapy would benefit you, fit those sessions into your schedule, even if you have to leave work early.

If you want to be effective at home and work, you must first take care of you. This means managing your time wisely, knowing when to say no – or yes, and knowing when to slow down or stop. If you don’t allow yourself pockets of personal time, you’ll become too burned out to fully appreciate any part of your life.

Set achievable goals that you are passionate about, concerning your career, health and relationships. Think about what tasks are most important for achieving a healthy work-life balance and prioritise them. Make your workday as productive as possible by implementing time management strategies, analysing your to-do list and cutting out tasks that have little to no value.

Stop feeling guilty about going to work. Parents who successfully balance their work and home life, don’t waste time and energy on guilt over the fact that they’re working. Instead, they either work on a plan to solve the problem – like work flexible hours – or they accept that they’ll need to maintain a full-time job while raising children.

Want to improve work-life balance? Life and personal coaching could be for you.

Our life coaches can help people of all ages, and stages of life, who yearn for more but are struggling to do it alone. Personal life coaching is for those who would benefit from a trusted life coach, confidante and mentor who will coach to encourage and help them achieve sought after goals.

Take advantage of our complimentary career coaching session to determine whether coaching is for you.  We provide career coaching advice throughout Australia remotely, over the telephone and in person at Neutral Bay on Sydney’s North Shore.